Trellis has an important job to do in the garden and has to look great at the same time. A trellis can extend the height of an existing fence panel or can be a standalone feature. Either way, it allows light to filter through and plants to grow up it. A simple square or diamond patterned trellis is popular but ever increasingly people are creating wave formations on top of their fences with decorative panels.

Whatever you choose, do ensure it's a quality panel as you really don't want to be fixing it more than once in fifteen years (pressure treated wood carries that kind of guarantee against rot) and do ensure all fixings are galvanised so that rust marks won't ruin the look. With that sorted, you can get planning.

A trellis can be fitted to improve the look and practicality of a fence panel. Wires can easily be fixed to the solid posts between panels, a climber planted and trained up. When the growth reaches the top, it will soon spread along the trellis. If you choose your plants carefully, you can expect blooms for many months of the year (roses and clematis are a superb combination; jasmine is great for scent or small leafed ivy for graceful evergreen cover).

It's a simple job to break up any expanse of brickwork with a beautiful wooden trellis. Many garden designers don’t even bother planting against the wall, allowing the panel itself to be the statement. It can also be difficult to help a plant establish at the foot of a wall. The soil is dry and usually (hopefully!) there are substantial footings roots cannot penetrate.

A trellis can also be used to create a garden room. Three large panels instantly create an enclosed area perfect for decking out with your favourite garden furniture, a chimenea, fire pit and of course lighting. Fix a roof to the whole lot and you've got a secret hideaway - but not so secret you can't find it. Decorative trellis is in itself the perfect focal point for a garden design and shouldn't be hidden away.

Trellis is also the perfect choice for disguising the more utilitarian aspects of the garden or home. I am, of course, thinking 'bins'. A discrete arrangement of trellis can obscure bins and their like.

Trellis is the choice when you want to simply break a view rather than block it fully. It distracts the eye rather than dominates. It is invaluable in the garden.